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  • 4th of July Pancake Breakfast

    Start your 4th of July day with a pancake breakfast on the Village Green. Afterwards, enjoy the Lake Bluff Parade.







    Food Sponsors

    • Heinen's Grocery Store
    • Sunset Foods
    • Starbucks
    • McDonald's

    Financial Sponsors - Gold Level

    • Knauz Motors
    • Marven Design Gallery by Estate Windows
    • Pasquesi
    • Lesser Lutry McGlynn & Howe LLP
    • Sheppard LLC
    • Lynch Construction
    • UPS Store

    Financial Sponsors - Silver Level

    • Lake Forest Bank & Trust
    • Roundout Service Center
    • McDonalds's
    • Mariani Landscape
    • Inovasi

    History of the 4th of July Pancake Breakfast

    Since its beginning in 1972, the event has become a cornerstone of the Village's 4th of July festivities. The breakfast was the brain child of then club president Dick Roman and members including Dean Holm and Tom Olson who thought it would be a great method for raising funds for charity. It clearly was in that over $85,000 has been raised benefiting local charities over the years.

    The 1972 event did not enjoy the tactical expertise that will guide this year's program. Kiwanis began the event with no equipment. Dean Holm recalls that grills were borrowed from the Boy Scouts and tables were borrowed from the Union Church. Tom Olson has served as master of batter preparation for every breakfast. He recalls that early they ran out of batter. Members had to rush to their homes to gather up whatever they had because the stores were closed. In the early days Marv Hackbath, proprietor of the Village Market, gave the club space for mixing batter. In recent years Inovasi has generouly provided the space. Phil Minorini, proprietor of the service station that stood on the corner of Sheridan and Scranton provided one of the oil changing bays for members like Tom Killiam to brew the coffee. Gordon Lackie flipped the pancakes.

    Since that time many local businesss have stepped up with support for the event. Currently, The Daily Grind, Starbucks, Sunset Foods and McDonald's provide Kiwanis with batter, sausage, coffee, syrup and orange juice for the event. In addition, succeeding generations of Kiwanians have taken over the pancake flipping, serving, and other duties.

    There have been some stressful events over the years, but the breakfast has never been rained out. One year the skies threatened all morning, but held off only to drench the parade following the breakfast with 2" of rain. Holm recalls several other threats that challenged the Kiwanis team. The coffee ran out early one time, for example, and members had to calm the troops of caffeine seekers who were getting restless until replenishment arrived. At other times Kiwanians had to make mad dashes to replenish supplies of orange juice and other condiments. Holm again recalls running out of sausage one year. The club made an immediate decision to drop the price of the breakfast to compensate. Pete Porett recalls the year Kiwanis rented a truck to move chairs and tables from the Union Church. The truck was loaded at the Church and as Pete pulled away everyone noticed smoke coming up from under the vehicle's hood. The Lake Bluff police and fire department responded even as they were preparing for the Fire-men's Ball. The fully loaded truck was then towed to the Gurnee rental agency and a transfer of furniture was made to a replacement truck. The table and chair set up was completed after midnight and Kiwanians still had to post for breakfast duty at 5:30am that morning.

    Kiwanis is constantly building on its experience to improve the event each year. Holm, for example, said that the biggest logistic challenge over the years has been the length of the lines that develop during peak demand times. Two year's ago, we instituting two serving lines.

    The 4th of July Pancake Breakfast brings the community together on this important day. Residents sit down with police officers and fire fighters. Families and friends gather to share festivities. Kiwanis estimates that 800 to 900 breakfasts have been served each year. That amounts to somewhere between 34,000 and 38,000 breakfasts served in 43 years. That's a lot of pancakes!

    Kiwanis thanks you and your family for celebrating the Country's' Independence and hope you'll join us for our 45th Annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast.

  • Corn Roast

    Come Join Us.
    To learn more click on image to right;.


  • Corn Roast

    Come Join Us.
    To learn more click on image to right;.

  • 4th of July Pancake Breakfast

    Start your 4th of July day with a pancake breakfast on the Village Green. Afterwards, enjoy the Lake Bluff Parade.







    Food Sponsors

    • Heinen's Grocery Store
    • Sunset Foods
    • Starbucks
    • McDonald's

    Financial Sponsors - Gold Level

    • Knauz Motors
    • Marven Design Gallery by Estate Windows
    • Pasquesi
    • Lesser Lutry McGlynn & Howe LLP
    • Sheppard LLC
    • Lynch Construction
    • UPS Store

    Financial Sponsors - Silver Level

    • Lake Forest Bank & Trust
    • Roundout Service Center
    • McDonalds's
    • Mariani Landscape
    • Inovasi

    History of the 4th of July Pancake Breakfast

    Since its beginning in 1972, the event has become a cornerstone of the Village's 4th of July festivities. The breakfast was the brain child of then club president Dick Roman and members including Dean Holm and Tom Olson who thought it would be a great method for raising funds for charity. It clearly was in that over $85,000 has been raised benefiting local charities over the years.

    The 1972 event did not enjoy the tactical expertise that will guide this year's program. Kiwanis began the event with no equipment. Dean Holm recalls that grills were borrowed from the Boy Scouts and tables were borrowed from the Union Church. Tom Olson has served as master of batter preparation for every breakfast. He recalls that early they ran out of batter. Members had to rush to their homes to gather up whatever they had because the stores were closed. In the early days Marv Hackbath, proprietor of the Village Market, gave the club space for mixing batter. In recent years Inovasi has generouly provided the space. Phil Minorini, proprietor of the service station that stood on the corner of Sheridan and Scranton provided one of the oil changing bays for members like Tom Killiam to brew the coffee. Gordon Lackie flipped the pancakes.

    Since that time many local businesss have stepped up with support for the event. Currently, The Daily Grind, Starbucks, Sunset Foods and McDonald's provide Kiwanis with batter, sausage, coffee, syrup and orange juice for the event. In addition, succeeding generations of Kiwanians have taken over the pancake flipping, serving, and other duties.

    There have been some stressful events over the years, but the breakfast has never been rained out. One year the skies threatened all morning, but held off only to drench the parade following the breakfast with 2" of rain. Holm recalls several other threats that challenged the Kiwanis team. The coffee ran out early one time, for example, and members had to calm the troops of caffeine seekers who were getting restless until replenishment arrived. At other times Kiwanians had to make mad dashes to replenish supplies of orange juice and other condiments. Holm again recalls running out of sausage one year. The club made an immediate decision to drop the price of the breakfast to compensate. Pete Porett recalls the year Kiwanis rented a truck to move chairs and tables from the Union Church. The truck was loaded at the Church and as Pete pulled away everyone noticed smoke coming up from under the vehicle's hood. The Lake Bluff police and fire department responded even as they were preparing for the Fire-men's Ball. The fully loaded truck was then towed to the Gurnee rental agency and a transfer of furniture was made to a replacement truck. The table and chair set up was completed after midnight and Kiwanians still had to post for breakfast duty at 5:30am that morning.

    Kiwanis is constantly building on its experience to improve the event each year. Holm, for example, said that the biggest logistic challenge over the years has been the length of the lines that develop during peak demand times. Two year's ago, we instituting two serving lines.

    The 4th of July Pancake Breakfast brings the community together on this important day. Residents sit down with police officers and fire fighters. Families and friends gather to share festivities. Kiwanis estimates that 800 to 900 breakfasts have been served each year. That amounts to somewhere between 34,000 and 38,000 breakfasts served in 43 years. That's a lot of pancakes!

    Kiwanis thanks you and your family for celebrating the Country's' Independence and hope you'll join us for our 45th Annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast.


Jim Bert GillenJames Bert Gillen of Lake Bluff, loving husband of Sherry and proud father of Jack, Caroline and Cassie, passed away peacefully at the age of 64 after a courageous eighteen-year battle with cancer. He is also survived by his sister, Maralee Murphy, nee Gillenberg, and countless loving relatives and friends. Born in Lake Forest and raised in Lake Bluff, Jim attended Lake Forest High School and then Carthage College where he received a BA in business, served as president of the Tau Sigma Phi fraternity, and met Sherry. Later, Jim earned an MBA from Marquette University, became a CPA, and worked in the fields of accounting, finance, and technology.

Jim raised his family in his beloved Lake Bluff where, like his parents, Bert and Agnes Gillenberg, he was an active member of the community. Among other involvements, Jim served as president of the Kiwanis Club of Lake Bluff and Lake Forest, was a community leader in “Vote Lake Bluff”, and hosted foreign exchange students.

An avid sportsman, Jim loved playing baseball, golf, and attending Scouts basketball games and Packer football games. After spending several seasons as a little league and soccer coach, Jim founded Pro-Vest, a company that designed and sold sports-safety equipment and acquired several patents for his line of protective vests and pads.

Jim also loved the outdoors. Mostly, he loved Ely, Minnesota and Bear Island Lake where he camped, boated, and waterskied at night under the northern lights.

He was a passionate man; he was passionate about cancer research and self-advocacy. He was passionate about the disabled community in our midst as personified by his beautiful daughters. But mostly, he was passionate about the simple things in his wonderful life like: playing the guitar, flipping Kiwanis pancakes, reading biographies, playing euchre with friends, watching “Survivor” with Jack, and angel food cake.

A memorial service will be held on January 28th at 11 am at the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest.


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